Part 2: the flip side

I’ve been interested in doing a series of pinhole portraits for some time. So far, its never gotten beyond doing some self-portraits as a way to explore things. But with all my new-found energy, I started thinking about it again. I made a self-portrait a few days ago with the 8×10 camera I want to use. I know whose faces I want to capture and how I want to approach the whole thing. It was an odd coincidence that the next day I got a brochure in the mail calling for entries in a local “self-portrait” exhibition. That seemed like a sign to me.

Every coin has two sides. Flip a coin a million times, and you expect it to land on one side half the time and on the other side the other half. Like a lot of people, I tend to regard that idea a lot in life. When good fortune comes my way, I find myself looking out for the other shoe to fall, Yin and Yang. In truth, I feel I have enjoyed much more than my share of good fortune, but I still keep an eye out for Yin.

In my previous post, I mentioned that my legs had become numb. My thyroid surgery postponed tracking down that problem. So now I was back to getting an MRI to get more information on what was happening in my back. The next day after the MRI, I met with my family doctor who gave me the Yin report – that I had a tumor on my spine. I was sent to an oncologist that same afternoon and found myself deep into the health care system in just a few hours. What a whirlwind experience it has been.

With all that is going on in my life right now, I continue to think about the “new guy” that seemed to enter my body/mind a few weeks earlier. It was odd of me to go out 2 weeks ago and buy 3 sets of sweat suits to wear around the house. Why did I suddenly need those? It would have been much more typical of me to buy just a sweat shirt and see how that went. There seemed to be a lot of things I was doing that were out of character for me. But now they seem more like just the new guy taking control of things in preparation for what was to come. Call me crazy.

There’s a lot of detail I’m leaving out now. My mind has moved on to more immediate concerns for now, but I think those details are interesting and I plan to fill them in here later. But for now, I’ve caught up to real time with this posting. I will have surgery on Monday and be in the hospital a couple of days after that. Then home to recover. Then start treatment to rid myself of the remaining cancer.

I was hoping to include the self-portrait I took in this posting, but haven’t had time to get into the darkroom the last few days. My mobility is starting to be impaired, and my darkroom is in my basement. But I am glad that even with these other things going on in my life right now, that art is still important to me. Whether I make art of not, the process of trying to make sense and out of this world is what has always gave me energy. I’m feeling a little self-indulgent with these blog entries right now, but I feel compelled to share these thoughts at large.

I continue to think about that pinhole photo on the Holly tree stump, cooking away, passing time.